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Yeast facts for kids

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S cerevisiae under DIC microscopy.jpg
Yeast cells under a microscope.
Simple diagram of yeast cell (en).svg
A diagram of a typical yeast cell
Scientific classification
Typical divisions

Ascomycota (sac fungi)

  • Saccharomycotina (true yeasts)
  • Taphrinomycotina
    • Schizosaccharomycetes (fission yeasts)

Yeast are microorganisms. They are single-celled fungi. There are about 1,500 different species of yeast. Most reproduce asexually, by budding. Some use binary fission to reproduce asexually.

A particular species of yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been used for a very long time. It is used for baking bread. It is also used in fermentation to make ethanol. This method makes many drinks, such as beer or wine. Ethanol is also used as fuel and to make other organic chemicals.

Yeast can be used to make electricity. Yeast is also a model organism for studying cell biology. Some yeasts can cause infections in humans (they are pathogens).

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Levadura para niños

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